Google Glass has gone underground, but the concept behind it isn't buried. Recon Instruments has even launched its own smart glasses, the Recon Jet, to prove there is hope in headworn devices—although it is trying to differentiate its product from Google Glass.
The Jet is built to eventually evolve into an all-purpose platform, much like Google Glass. Recon Instruments is, however, focusing on athletics. The smart glasses are designed for both professional and recreational outdoor activities, according to Dan Eisenhardt, CEO of Recon Instruments.
"The product is about more than real-time data delivery," Eisenhardt said. "We've addressed the entire in-activity experience, coordinating performance metrics, smartphone connectivity, video and photo capture, social interactions, and instant content sharing in its design."
A 1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 powers the Jet. The smart glasses are packed with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage space, a micro SD slot and a host of sensors.
The Jet includes an accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, pressure sensor and infrared sensor. It is equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, ANT+, WiFi.
Wearers can expect up to four hours of life per charge, although the battery is removable and can be swapped out on the fly.
Flanked by a pair of microphones, the Jet's point-of-view camera captures still and videos in 720p. There are speakers built in along with those microphones, but there are no voice services offered on the smart glasses' ReconOS platform.
The ReconOS 4.1, which is based on Android, includes navigation and phone widgets to go along with all of the fitness stats laid out by the display. To pep up the relatively vanilla OS, Recon Instruments left the platform completely open for developers.
From the outset, the company has sought to develop wearable tech that was tailored for athletes, according to Eisenhardt. While the company may not "believe in generalist use cases for smart glasses," Eisenhardt's words, Recon Instruments is maintaining an open mind about the subject.
"We're launching Jet with a feature set built for runners and cyclists, but the opportunity to extend Jet's utility into completely new use cases is enormous," said Eisenhardt.
The $699 Recon Jet, roughly half the price of Google Glass, began shipping on April 16. As tech enthusiasts go gaga over the Apple Watch, Eisenhardt indicates that it's still too soon to forget about smart glasses.
"There's a battle between the wrist and the face, and the wrist is winning right now but it's still early days," Eisenhardt said.